Every year around this time, many Indians across the world, specifically Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains, celebrate the old tradition of Raksha Bandhan, also referred to as Rakhi or Rakhri. While it is unknown when this tradition originated, it dates back to the time when kings and queens ruled and is even mentioned in stories about the ancient Hindu gods and goddesses. This year, the holiday fell on August 21st.
Raksha Bandhan is a tradition centering on the relationship between siblings. Women and girls alike tie a rakhi, or sacred thread, on their brother’s wrist. Since Indian families are very close, cousins, and even friends are oftentimes considered brothers as well. My family tree might not show this but I sure do have A LOT of siblings. And don’t even get me started on the amount of nieces and nephews I have – or munchkins as I lovingly refer to them.
Got a little side-tracked there, didn’t I? So essentially, the sister ties a rakhi on her brother’s wrist to represent love and the brother’s vow to care for his sister. Raksha Bandhan literally means bond of protection. This ceremony and the thread also represent unity. Technically, siblings are supposed to get along on this day, but I may be guilty of picking a fight or teasing regardless. oops. Siblings also feed each other traditional Indian sweets. YUM! And I haven’t even gotten to the best part…….there’s money involved 😀 The brothers give their sisters gifts and that generally translates into cash. Since when have men been known to shop anyway?
So what traditions does your family have? Do you do something special for parents, spouses, siblings, grandparents, friends, neighbors, pets, etc…? If so, let us know in the comments below!
“To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.”